The 4th annual Gay Pride Parade just happened outside my balacony. The decision to ban the event was overturned by a court on Sunday and Mayor Lupolianski was ordered to personally pay court costs of NIS 30,000 as well as put up rainbow flags lining the route.

How cute they all were. The cutest thing of all was that they were all sporting pink ribbons instead of the now ubiquitous orange or blue disengagement ones. The color scheme moved from rainbow to pink to a purple religious lesbian group to pink and blue for bisexualty followed by the green of the the police force and the black and white of the yeshiva bochurs in their own half-assed counter-parade.

See, unfortunetly, not everyone was taken by the cuteness and two participants in the parade were stabbed by a supposedly religious Jewish man. I don’t care what you think of homosexuality, but stabbing people is just wrong, and a hilul Hashem and a sin, especially by religous standards. A little more chesed, a little less gevurah, people.

In any case, World Pride has been rescheduled for 2006 because of the security situation surrounding the disengagement that would have complicated matters. Pink and orange would have been a little to much, it seems.

It’s funny, because just yesterday I commented to a friend that a billbord we passed was a little
homoerotic to which she replied “I think this whole country is a little homoerotic.”

Exhibit A. This was NOT at the gay pride parade. This was the Orange Music Festival I was at the other night to hear Faithless and Infected Mushroom and get some more research for the story I’m writing.

This man was not gay and this act of butt showing was entirely uncalled for.


About the author

Laya Millman

281 Comments

  • Having a gay pride march in Jerusalem is not only disrespectful, but selfish.

    Who would guess that the gay pride crowd would engage in narcism?

  • Between Paris Hilton and this I am not comfortable. People might walk past my monitor. Yuck.

  • Oh my falafel! An Israeli man who like all Israeli men needs to make the switch to boxers showing his ass! THE SKY IS FALLING!

    Laya, I am ashamed of you, young lady. A real committed Jew who cares about the future of the Jewish people and refuses to let those evil, wicked, destructive lesbians destroy Judaism once and for all would have been with those yeshiva bachurim. And would it kill you to throw a few rocks? I mean, it’s the disintegration of society here!

  • Laya, I believe that it is parades like this disgusting one tht will lead to our demise.

    I support stopping it by any means possible.

    Laya you should study the real meaning of Hillul Hashem and sin.

    Letting this go and not stopping is the ‘real’ Hillul Hashem and sin. I’m sure you know that with all the Torah classes that you study.

    Don’t let the media corrupt your sense of right, wrong, Hillul and Kiddush hashem.

  • Hey, “eternal covenant” means “no demise.” I mean, if you believe in the Torah, then it is intellectually inconsistent to believe that a few guys in thongs marching in a parade will lead the destruction of the Jewish people.

    As far as the present day, I would be a lot more worried about the people who blow up buses and launch rockets than our fellow Jews who were born attracted to members of their own gender. When was the last time a gay Israeli blew up a disco, you know?

    Ahh, but what do I know? Clearly, if I studied more Torah, I would understand that G-d wants me to kill gays.

  • You know, Joe, I’m pretty sure the temple wasn’t destroyed because there were gay jews (and this was during the time of the romans, remember, you know there were jews in those both houses too). It was destroyed because of Sinat Chinam, remember? but you should know that from the torah classes you go to.
    So I ask you, which is really gonna destroy us? some guys in pink or the dude that stabs them?

  • Laya, I love your blog, and don’t want to sound like a smart as$. But the temple may not haave been destroyed for homosexuality, but the flood sure was bcause of imoral relationships, not JUST homosexual relationships, but it was included.

    So … exile vs flood destroying entire planet … you decide.

    just don’t think THAT argument cuts it. I still don’t think what happened in this article is right, that is forsure wrong as well. a sin is a sin, two wrongs don’t make a right, don’t cry over slillt milk, etc …

  • sure, and you can believe it is a sin, just like eating shrimp. That doesnt give you license to hate the people yo.

  • oh, and also chaim, you remember the whole promise that god would never flood the earth again, symbolized by a rainbow, of all things? So I dont think we need to be worried about that.

  • Alright, just to weigh in on this halachic debate. Are gay people inately evil needing punishment… Well no, acting upon those feeling in the from of two males having sexual relations with each other, that’s clearly wrong, other homosexual sexual encounters, probably wrong, Having Homosexual feelings and tendancies, that’s just the yetzer hara, you don’t get punnished for having one, your just supposed to try your best to fight it. Therefore, Gay pride parade in Jerusalem, yes there is something wrong about it, for a group of people who argue that we need to learn to respect them and their opinions, to be sensitive to their perspectives, they don’t seem to show the same respect to the overwelmingly religious Jerusalem. It’s a bit of a double standerd. Now, about the guy stabing, yeah, that’s also a deffenet wrong. Now, the last I checked, even Pinchas who was praised for his Zelotness, knew that in order to act that way (IE taking maters into his own hands, he had to catch them during the act, now unless those people who were stabed were activly engaged in anal sex, then he had no right to do what he did by any stretch, and that is assuming he knew kol ha torah kulo such that he could qualify to be a zelot in the first place. Baring a Pinchas, there is a legal process that’s supposed to happen biblicly, I dought this happend either. Anyway, point is, right on Laya, way to point out the truth in this one, the parade isn’t right, but neither is the response. It was deffenetly a Chilel Hashem on both sides. When are we going to learn that the only way to have Achdut/Unity and serve Hashem the way he wants us to, is to learn to love every jew, Ahavat Yisrael, it’s not that hard. Remeber, the Bal HaTanya I think puts it best, you can hate a persons actions, vehimently, without any room for understanding or forgivness, but you can not hate a person, not a single jew, the love has to be Blind. That’s the only way that we can help bring people back, like hillel did, to love everyone as ourselves.

  • One of the coolest things about Jerusalem is that it is a place where all things meet. East and West, modesty and promiscuity, Arab and Jew and Christian. Mount Zion and the Vally of Gehennom The spirit of the desert with the chaos of civilization, the ancient and the modern, religious and secular, the holy and the profane.

    The tension that all that creates is maddening and gorgeous, and well, kinda sexy. Personally, I don’t think these people were being disrespectful to the city, and I don’t think having the parade was wrong. They were, in large part, celebrating the kind of place this city is.

    Homosexuality is certainly an issue to be addressed within Judaism. People get all bent out of shape about it because it disgusts them, or threatens them or something, but really, there are better battles to be fought.

  • Flood who?

    How’s the birthrate?

    Nobody to flood.

    Go back to sleep.

    This stuff is deadly to women. There is only one woman on earth who understands that, and she is getting on in years.

    No, you don’t hate. Everybody has problems. But you can oppose somebody’s politics. Life is hard and their affliction is terrible; maybe it can be addressed.

    But let’s not wear tobacco colored ribbons to support the life choices of the people who die from lung cancer.

  • KOL HAKOVOD
    to the hero of the Jewish people who attacked the evil enemies of Hashem.
    You are like the great Pinchas in the Torah who stood up for Hashems honor. BRAVO

  • You can also view pictures of the ANTI GAY rally held in New York City on Sunday June.26,2005 at my blog at Heshys house.blogspot.com

  • Heshy… now you’ve crossed the line.

    To encourage violence against any Jew is both a Chilul, but to encourage violence against a particular identifiable group is also illegal in some places (and I’m proud to say that my home, Canada – who is celebrating it’s birthday now – is one of them).

    Heshy, there are worse thing facing this world than to gay guys in love.

    I am a past president of an Israeli Action Club on my campus, a graduate of a Jewish High School, executive member of the Hillel here, deeply involved in building the Jewish community and I’m gay. And proud of it. I don’t hide it, and if anyone’s got a problem with it they can go suck a lemon (oh the PC phrases we use for the internet).

    Jerusalem isn’t just the Holy City, it’s also the capital city, and as such every citizen of Israel has the right to celebrate their identities there – not just bigoted religious people.

    I’m done now. I don’t need to defend myself against your virolent hatered, but if you ever threaten me with violence to my face, you should beware of what it’ll look like when a faygale like me kicks your butt with 3 years of krav maga training.

    BeGe’avah
    Tom C

  • Michael! The inconcistency that you mention is exactly what Muffti was trying to say back here! Of course it’s inconsistent with God’s promises that the Jewish people get destroyed, even by him. And to all the Canadians, hope you had a good Canada day!

  • I won’t be the first to say that what endagers the Israel/Jews more than Arabs massacring us is our collective abandonning of the Torah. Please don’t see me as ‘holier than thou’. I’m not perfect, but I’m trying hard to learn more and get better.

    So my answer is: yes, ‘gay pride’ parades in Jerusalem do more harm to us than Islamic Jihad.

  • Muffti, it appears as if we agree on a theological issue. I think this calls for a party. Fried gator and Hurricanes all around. It’s on me this time.

    Seriously though, I think it’s a good question. If these people insist on taking every other word of Torah literally at face value, why should one of the most happy-cheerful-fuzzy parts of it (and there aren’t many) be ignored in favor of sensationalism?

    I mean, no matter what someone’s thoughts are on gay Jews, Moshiach or Michael Steinhardt, if they imply by saying “so-and-so will lead to the destruction of the Jewish people” that God can’t even keep one measly little promise, aren’t they committing what Rambam would term a grievous heresy?

  • Hurricanes and fried gator on you? Sweet…but maybe this time we should try to get something you can eat too 🙂 But Muffti totally agrees, especially w/r/t the Rambam.

  • Can someone please remind me the name of King David’s boyfriend??
    We’ve had gay jews forever, get over it guys.

  • The normalcy of homosexuality is still an open issue. It is definitely against the cultural and religious norms of modern day Israel.

    The marchers can stick banners and daisies wherever they want, but this is not just a “celebration” – it is an act of political agression.

    We have seen this PC trope before. A minority imposes its outlandish opinion by (a) declaring themselves “victims” (cue the sacred-sounding organ music) and then (b) heavy-handedly accusing The Rest of Us – you know, the majority – of being “intolerant”.

    Sorry, it doesn’t work like that. Israeli gays have marched repeatedly in Tel Aviv with little problem. The decision to move the march to Jerusalem – like the decision to hold international gay rallies in Rome and Jerusalem – are acts of political aggression. They are attempts to impose a minority opinion on a majority that disagrees. They are totally INtolerant assaults on existing “communities” with little care for those communities’ beliefs or social fabric.

    It’s telling that the march went ahead with the connivance of the Supreme Court – a body well-known to Israelis as an instrument of leftist cultural imposition.

    The stabbing is unfortunate, but understandable. When a community and its values are assaulted, the community fights back.

  • The stabbing was not simply “unfortunate” It was an absolute Hilul Hashem with no justification. None, whatsoever no matter what you believe. Hold a peaceful protest rally, hand out pamphlets, hold a prayer rally, whatever, but there is no excuse for that kind of violent, hateful behavior.

  • They were not marching through Mea Sharim, they were marching through downtown, right past treif restaurants and clubs that are open on Shabbat. Would you say that if someone went in and stabbed the club owner or the chef or butcher? would that also be “understandable” behavior by a “community whose values were assaulted”?

  • Thanks Laya… I understand now. They didn’t march past the Knesset – so it WASN’T scheduled in Jerusalem because Jerusalem is the political capital, as another poster implied….

    So: why WAS it scheduled in Jerusalem?

    Laya: if it had just been smacking and punching, would that have been OK? There’s been a lot of laying in the road lately (not THAT kind of laying…) would it have been OK for the Haredim to do that?

    The Jewish population of Jerusalem finally elected a mayor that hails from the most predominant sector of the city. He makes a judgement call based on the community’s values – values held by Jewish, Moslem, and Christian residents of the city – and Jerusalem’s special religious stature for those faiths.

    The Supreme Court overrules him – and in the context of the cultural war simmering since 1973 in Israel, it makes a point of rubbing the nose of this uppity “Dos” in it – has anyone EVER heard of a sitting public official being hit with a personal fine, and for such an amount?

    All this coming after a springtime of long smoldering resentment at precisely such heavy-handed left-wing political overreaching has sent up the first licks of what promises to be a flaming hot summer of conflict.

    What exactly should the reaction be?
    Valid right-wing political protests have been suspended at the last minute due to (largely fictional) worries about “the charged atmosphere” possibly sparking violence.

    Lupoliansky would have been well within his rights – and the limits of prudence – if he had canceled the march for that reason alone, given the previous events of the week.

    So: what is the acceptable response on the part of the affronted majority?

  • Certainly, the acceptable response on part of the “affronted majority” is not stabbing an innocent person.

    Justifying physical, deadly violence against powerless innocents by claiming that they represent an oppressive power…sounds almost Palestinian, doesn’t it?

  • BD says So: what is the acceptable response on the part of the affronted majority?

    I will simply repeat what I already wrote in comment 30 “Hold a peaceful protest rally, hand out pamphlets, hold a prayer rally, whatever, but there is no excuse for that kind of violent, hateful behavior.”

  • It’s not a “political affront” any more so than any other political rally in Israel… welcome to Israel. It’s better than blocking roads to prevent disengament because people can choose not to go to the parade but they still need to get to work.

    Welcome to democracy. Everyone who’s saying that there should be no Pride parades in Israel because it offends the sensabilities of the orthodox Jews should be prepared. I expect never to see you at the Israel Day parade or Walkathons. Your displays of radical politics are an affront to a larger group (the Arab/Muslim communities are larger than yours).

    So no more free speach or expression for your beliefs.

    Do you see how absurd you’re being. For Israel to be a democracy people MUST have the right to protest and celebrate visibly and equally. Otherwise welcome to Iran.

  • What was being “protested”? The way the majority of Israelis choose to live their lives?
    What was being “celebrated”? A pattern of behavior the majority still feel is not normal and even destructive?

    The rights of speech and assembly are intended to insure debate and airing of opinions. These gay marches air a lot of things…. but in the world of ideas, they are the equivalent of an iron fist.

    Would it be OK for a group promoting pedophilia to march in Jerusalem? Should they expect to march, uh, unmolested?

    But this is different, say all the “freethinkers”. That’s just the point – it’s only “different” if you have already accepted the normality of gayness. And so this rally comes to assert an unpopular opinion using the underhanded and undemocratic means of Victimology politics. All other opinions are delegitimized using emotional arguments that have nothing to do with reasoned discourse.

    In addition, this rally took place after months of one-sided imposition of political policy by the left – there is a straw-that-broke-the-camel’s-back quality to events as observed here in Israel. It also took place days after tense scenes of civil disobedience – the first ominous rumblings along precisely this cultural fault line. This, alone, would be sufficient reason to cancel such a contentious parade.

    Can ANYONE give me an example of a sitting public official being hit with a personal fine for an administrative decision? Can ANYONE explain how the majority that voted for Lupoliansky and identifies him was supposed to feel?

    Does ANYONE really think that a counter-demonstration would have been allowed, given the heavy-handed censure of he mayor’s decision?

    So: what is left?

    Sorry – I steadfastly refuse to fall into the trap of pitying these victims-by-design. They incited a provocation on purpose, to serve their own political aims.

  • Yeah, I’m sure that guy went to Jerusalem looking for a stabbing. I bet he’s laughing it up there in the hospital. I mean, what’s a stab wound when it helps you serve your own political aims? You’re totally onto those sinister gay people, dude! Rock on!

  • I CANNOT believe the sentiments expressed by these haters. As a matter of fact, there is NON halachic basis WHATSOEVER for stabbing a sinner, particularly if he is not actually sinning at the moment. I’m sure the stabber gancies himself a modern day Pinchas, but he is not, nor is the victim a modern-day Zimri. Ugh. I have the actual sources from the gemarah over at my blog.

  • Ben David, pedophilia is just a tad bit different, it involves a child being placed into a position of severe victim hood by an authority figure who violates their bodily integrity and causes irreparable psychological harm. Please, feel free to express your own views, but do so smartly.

    And I don’t think they were out there to push any victim agenda anymore than jews who show up for a Yom Ha’azmaut parade. In fact, it was the Heredim and Yeshiva boys i saw out there who were acting more like victims, so severly threatened by the aggressive sight of gay people prancing about in rainbow colors and balloons that they simply had to act out, right?

  • Ben David, #29. So you don’t agree with the disengagement protesters?

    #36, Democracies exist so that minorities can express themselves. Majorities may control the agenda, but minorities are protected. That’s the entire point.

  • The middle, as usual, picks things up by the tail end:

    – So you don’t agree with the disengagement protesters?
    – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    The disengagement protesters have taken to the streets in non-violent protest AFTER months in which their views – which are the views of the majority of Jewish Israelis – were shut out of the media and their protest rallies were disallowed.

    That is, the center-right’s freedoms of speech and assembly have been consistently abrogated – by precisely the same leftist clique that treated the mayor of Jerusalem like an uppity nigger.

    There have been no attacks on police, no saboteurs. The equivalent of the gay march would be something like a march through Chan Yunis or Ramallah – it hasn’t happened.

    Just non-violence civil disobedience – coming after a long period in which DEMOCRATIC avenues of free speech were shut down.

    more muddled middling:
    Democracies exist so that minorities can express themselves. Majorities control the agenda, but minorities are protected. That’s the entire point.
    – – – – – – – – – –
    This is a very apt description of the workings of a healthy democracy. This is NOT the current situation in Israel.

    In Israel, an ultra-secular, leftist minority is imposing its agenda on the majority. This minority has long controlled most of Israel’s economy, which is only gradually changing – and they still control Israel’s media, academia, and judiciary.

    From this position they have totally countermanded the public mandate to stop unilateral withdrawals, and are imposing their plan – which was soundly rejected by an overwhelming “majority” at the polls.

    The protest of the disengagement protesters is equivalent to Israel’s Boston Tea Party.

    The imposition of the gay rights parade on the “uneducated peons” is just the last in a string of heavy handed, undemocratic attempts to “re-educate the masses” from on high.

    I do not endorse the stabbing, or ANY violence.

    But none of those who are so concerned with human rights has told me what recourse the majority has in such a situation.

    None of you high, free thinkers has explained the Court’s gratuitously vindictive actions against the mayor of Jerusalem.

    You know, middle, in America the right to bear arms is directly related to these other rights… precisely to allow the public to rise up against such minority tyranny. It would be awful if that happens here, but it’s important to understand the back story, to understand that this cultural struggle has been building for some time to this breaking point.

    It’s really, REALLY important for American Jews to get straight who are the defenders of democracy in Israel, and who are its enemies.

    BIG HINT – the bolsheviks who have set themselves up as the watchdogs of “progressive humanism” have shown by their actions that they haven’t a truly democratic or “tolerant” bone in their bodies.

    BIG HINT #2 – the people that are being portrayed as fanatics are anything but.

    The gays forced an issue – and launched a salvo in a larger, ongoing cultural war – by moving the parade to Jerusalem. It was a no-lose situation: if they march unmolested, they can claim victory and get adulatory press coverage from their allies in the media. If they are opposed, their Big Brothers in the High Court can impose their will on the peasants. And if the peasants actually dare to fight back – they can get more worshipful press as “victims”, even though they instigated an act of cultural agression.

    It’s really, REALLY important to understand how this victimology rap works – and to understand just who are the “victims” of “oppression” here in Israel.

  • Ben David said “But none of those who are so concerned with human rights has told me what recourse the majority has in such a situation.”

    Actually, I have, and then I had to repeat myself. Please read up, perhaps you have forgotten. To you as well, just because it is not the answer you want to hear dos not mean it is a non response. If the majority is truly offended and feels this is a threat to their existance, let them take a page from the peaceful settler handbook. Start a non violent campaign of protest against this minority apparently holding you hostage because of who turns them on. I may still not agree with you, but you’ve gotten your voice heard in a respectful way and haven’t commited a Hilul Hashem.

    And again, I think you are projecting the victimhood thing.

  • Ben David, what country are you living in again? Cuz it sure ain’t Israel.

    I’ve never heard anything more laughable than how the Left and progressive forces control Israel while the Right are their victims. Next you’ll tell me aliens have landed.

  • Laya – I agree with you.
    I don’t think the stabbing was justified.
    Was the protest justified?
    Are the protesters being spun as ‘fundamentalist philistines’? Yes.

    Is the gay lobby using the “ooh, they’re oppressing us” dodge to sidestep the values argument, and demonize their opponents? Yes.

    Are many people of good will – including many on this list – taken in by that, and accepting the sloppy, broad condemnation of the people the media labels “primitives”? Yes.

    The entire gay rights movement has built itself up based on these techniques. It has played the games of victimology and political correctness expertly to avoid rational argument and demonize its opponents.

    In addition to all this – which is true in the US as well – the climate here in Israel is one in which 30-plus years of resentment at leftist/secularist hegemony are coming to a head. The dissing of Lupoliansky for making an understandable decision was a totally irresponsible provocation. I personally am grateful that there was just one crazy who crossed the line – I feared much worse.

    It’s important to understand the larger picture.

    You know as well as I do that’s how it will be spun in the media.

  • A propos the climate in Israel:

    From Ynet (English version of Yediot daily newspaper):
    Border policeman dies of wounds
    By Efrat Weiss and Roee Nahmias

    HAR ADAR – First Sgt. Natan Yasias died Sunday after falling into a creek while chasing Palestinian protesters near the Jerusalem-area settlement of Har-Adar.

    Protesters had pelted the workers with stones.
    Initial reports indicated the officer was hit by a rock. He was evacuated to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, but died a short time later.
    ….
    The incident was the latest in a string of violent anti-fence protests. Last Friday , an IDF soldier sustained moderate injuries when some 200 Palestinians and left-wing Israeli activists threw rocks and protested the security fence near the Palestinian village of Bilin.

    About a month ago an IDF soldier lost sight in his left eye from a stone that was thrown at him during a similar demonstration.

    Also Sunday, Border Guard forces caught a Palestinian youngster who had attempted to stab a soldier at a roadblock near the Shuafat refugee camp in northern Jerusalem. No one was injured in the incident.

    An investigation into the incident revealed the Palestinian was being searched at the roadblock when he whipped out a knife and attempted to stab one of the officers, who pursued to fire a shot into the air and chase the Palestinian. The suspect was eventually apprehended and taken in for questioning.

  • Now, ben david, I still dont agree with your point of view, but I’m glad to hear you now state that the stabbing was unjustifiable.

    and because you insist on projecting victmhood, isnt it more or less what we the jews have done? boohoo the holocaust, boohoo anti semitism, they’re oppressing us, we need a lobby, we’re a minority.

    How is it ok for jews to play the victim card but not gay jews? (which, if you had seen the parade was not the feeling at all anyway). And last time I check being gay was not, in and of it self a “value”, its a sexual orientation.

  • Wow. I am happy to hear that we have finally agreed on something. Taking it upon yourself to stab people you find disagreeable is a bad thing. This is good news for all thosde people i come across on the street still wearing trucker caps…

  • I moved to Israel precisely to build a Jewish identity not based on victimhood.

    And I have noted that it is the assimilated Jewish world that is pouring its money into Holocaust memorials rather than (dare I say it) Jewish Education – and this embrace of victimhood is directly related to (a) their basically enervated, nostalgic view of Judaism, and (b) their adoption of left-liberal ideas that all can be explained thru gender/race/class analysis, which implicitly posits that one side is The Victim.

    In contrast, a Jew who take Judaism, The Religion, seriously has many more positive hooks on which to hang their Jewish identity.

    You wrote:
    last time I checked being gay was not, in and of itself a “value”, but a sexual orientation.
    – – – – – – – – – –
    This is disingenuous.
    The normalcy of the gay orientation, and its causes, are still very much open to debate. And the recognition of gays and gay unions as equal and normal is still open to debate. These debates are most definitely and specifically moral debates.

    The arguments and judgements that the gays seek to avoid by wrapping themselves in the mantle of victimhood are most definitely “value” judgements.

  • I moved to Israel precisely to build a Jewish identity not based on victimhood.
    – – – – – – – – – –
    … or on minority status.

  • Ok, I appreciate the fact you came to Israel to not build an identity on victimhood, But then why all the whining about the oppressive Leftest govenment keeping the true believers down?

    recognition of gays as equal and normal is still a debate, yes, mostly to neo nazi parties. And by the way, you are aware that homosexuality occurs in nature too, right? Ask a zookeeper.

    And what Gay Unions? like the Gay Truckers union? is there a little gay Norma Rae too? Most places on policy do not and cannot discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

    And what exactly is the Moral problem you keep bringing up exactly?

  • The normalcy of gay orientation? Well, seeing as it’s been around for as long as humans have (and you can’t argue that, the Torah itself talks about it), I would say gay orientation is about as normal as something could get.

    And as far as its causes, I think most rational people would agree (of course, one must consider his audience) that seeing as it’s been around since the dawn of humanity, homosexuality is not caused by an evil alliance of leftists trying to corrupt your children into gayness. Unless that evil alliance is as old as humanity.

  • No Michael! Its all record companies trying to sell off old disco hits and broadway show tunes! They are the ones spreading the gayness disease.

  • Wait! No! That must be it! Everyone in Israel listens to ’80s music and clearly everybody in the ’80s from George Michael to Freddy Mercury to everybody in every hair band ever was gayer than a strawberry shortstack! That’s why gay Israelis are coming out of the woodwork to take Ben David’s children over to the pink side! Curse you, cheesy ’80s music! Curse youuuuuuu!

  • Murder, pedofilia, infidelity, prostitution, theft.

    All been around since the dawn of humanity.

    Moral?

    Layaleh – I am a Jew. I don’t determine what is normal or moral human (sexual) behavior based on what animals do. Again, fights to the death are a common feature of animal sexuality, as are herds serviced by a single male. Sound yummy?

    I also don’t decide my morality based on what the popular pose of the day is…. there is a morbid fascination in watching young blogmeisters diss Conservative Judaism while simultaneously trying to strike their own Jewlicious cultural compromise – must be funky enough to be cool, but Jewish enough to be non-aimless, fruity yet dry…

    … good luck, girl. When the Conservative Jews whose shortcomings you have identified with pinpoint accuracy were forging THEIR Western-Jewish cocktail, being a liberal freethinker meant standing beside Martin Luther King and all he represented.

    Now, it means standing beside RuPaul and all HE(?) represents.

    Simultaneously, the Judaism that “everybody” knew was moribund has flourished into glorious relevance and energy.

    May I suggest you pack a spool of sturdy thread as you set out on your path to funky Jewlicious cultural fusion – you will be splitting your pants often as these two cultural poles drift further apart…

  • Michael: thanks for rounding out the conversation by giving an example of the other major technique used by gays to avoid reasoned discussion of their pathological promiscuity: ridicule.

    It works very well on the young and weak who are (a) ignorant and (b) desperately concerned to mouth the popular opinions.

    Neither of which applies to me.

  • Of course it doesn’t totally apply, you’re not young. You are ig’nant though, pops. So you keep on having the strength of character and moral fortitude to hate entire groups of people for their imagined “pathological promiscuity” (I wonder why it threatens you so much), and the rest of us will keep on not obliquely justifying stabbings in the name of God.

  • Ben David…..
    How do you think MLK Jr. would have reacted to the stabbing? How do you think he would treat Gay people?

    This might give us some idea; This was said by Coretta Scott King, Mr. King’s widow

    “Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood,”

    You realize the way you are talking, if you were to turn the words around a little, you could soud just like a raging anti semite. It sounds like that that level of blind hatred. If thats not how you intend it, you should be careful how it comes across.

    My belief that Gays are legitimate people just like me and you comes from no desire to be hip and funky, but it does come from a belief that everyone was indeed created in Gods image that growing up Jewish taught me. My morality dictates that my fellow Jews are to be treated with love, but maybe that’s just the “popular pose of the day” and I’ve been brainwashed by RuPaul and the 80’s

    What two men or two women do behind closed doors is not a threat to me, my sexuality, my belief in God or anything else. If it is to you then I am sorry to hear that.

  • Ben David:
    So you’ve made a great case for why you shouldn’t be gay…. good on you!!!!

    Now explain why that means that the gay community can’t have a parade/protest like every other community in a democracy.

    Just ’cause you don’t like us doesn’t mean we don’t have the right to “freedom of expression”.

    You may not like what we say, but it is the duty of democracy to “defend to the death our right to say it”.

    SIDENOTE: So I was waiting for a bus and I saw these three guys who looked like a cross between eurotrash and 80’s culture… and yup… you guessed it, @ 3:00 am in downtown toronto there were the Israelis.

  • More victimology politics…

    Laya, my attitude to homosexuals is much more nuanced than that, as evidenced by my previous (long) posts here on the subject.

    The assertions that I am gripped by blind hate, and view gays as less than human, is basically putting words in my mouth – and is, again, an emotional argument swamping reasoned analysis and discussion.

    My compassion for homosexuals is the same compassion that thinking people have for drunks, drug addicts, or bulimics. Would your definition of “respect for all humanity” mean leaving these people to their self-destructive sinkholes?

    There is evidence of a genetic compenent to alchoholsm. Schizophrenia and depression are clearly genetically influenced. Would it then be “compassionate” to declare these afflictions ‘normal’ – and leave the sufferers to their own devices?

    Straights attend gay pride marches – and you can almost see them glow with self-righteous glory. How sophisticated and multi-culti we are! For younger folks, there is the added frisson of trashing received values.

    But what is it really like to be the kind of person who – in sequined g-string – pantomimes sex on top of a truck?

    What kind of life does that person go home to?

    The answer – from the gay community’s own data – is that most homosexuals live unsatisfying lives of compulsive promiscuity.

    It’s also clear – when we turn away from arguments based on emotional blackmail or the peer pressure of “everybody knows” – that most gays are suffering mental distress, as evidenced by rates of depression and substance abuse that are 4-5 times the rate in the general population.

    At this point the Victimology organ-grinders start their whining refrain about how these pathologies are a response to “prejudice”.

    Sorry – it is now a full generation after liberation, and gayness is not just tolerated, it is celebrated. Yet the pathological behavior yet remains.

    Laya – you are free to assert that none of this is your business.

    I am an adult and so I know that these behaviors DO impact the society at large.

    And I am a Jew – and so I believe that people feeling homosexual attractions are every bit as bound as I am to behave morally – Is that dehumanizing, or just inconvenient?

    My compassion for them is the same pragmatic, adult compassion that I feel for others caught in compulsive, self-destructive behavior.

    You haven’t yet explained how your laissez-faire attitude to human sexuality jibes with Judaism’s take on sexual morality. Good luck explaining how the Jewish G-d’s moral program stops at the door of your bedroom – or anyone else’s.

  • I didn’t see anyone in a sequined g-string pantomiming sex on top of a truck, what part of the parade was that guy in?

    You keep talking about Morality. I think we agree that everyone, straight or gay is obliged to act in a moral way. What does that mean to you, and why, by virtue of sexual orientation do you assume that Gays are not moral? Do they by their nature cheat in the market place? Do they steal? Murder? Lie compulsively? Stab people they don’t agree with?

    Yes, some gays live a promiscuous lifestyle. I’ve got news for you, so do some straight people.

    And by the way, do you happen to have any sources for your statistics?

    As I have said before, homosexuality is certainly an issue to be dealt with within the Torah community. And sexual morality is a big part of Judaism. But I will not demonize gays anymore than someone who does not keep taharat hamishpacha (you remember what the torah says about that right? cut off from his people…) I also refuse to define people based solely on their sexuality and assume that that encompasses all of who they are, what they believe and how they live their lives.

  • Laya, your post sounds grand – which is apt, since it’s largely grandstanding.

    You are largely swatting at a straw man of your own making. Read my posts carefully: there has been no blanket, bible-thumping denial of the humanity of those suffering from homosexual attractions.

    Again – you’re striking all the most popular poses, but not addressing what I’ve been saying.

    Now let’s munch on some weightless, melt-in-your-mouth cotton candy:

    You keep talking about Morality. I think we agree that everyone, straight or gay is obliged to act in a moral way. What does that mean to you, and why, by virtue of sexual orientation do you assume that Gays are not moral? Do they by their nature cheat in the market place? Do they steal? Murder? Lie compulsively? Stab people they don’t agree with?

    – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    uhhh, there’s this book called the Torah, that is the source of, like, most Jews’ ideas of what constitutes moral behavior. Have you heard of it?

    That code – unlike man-made, Western codes which were primarily developed to preserve individual liberty – casts morality in terms of living one’s entire life in G-d’s presence, including the most intimate family and communal aspects of life. They alll are part of a Jew’s notion of “morality”.

    …are you, like, SURE you haven’t heard about this before? Cause, like, it’s been sorta the BASIS for Western society’s ideas of morality for, like, a long time. I mean, like, a really long time. Ya know?

    And, I mean-I-respect-your-opinion-and-all, but the whole let’s-peel-off-sexual-behavior-and-not-subject-it-to-notions-of-morality thing is, well, fairly recent and not very Jewish. And, like, it also hasn’t been very good at delivering on its promises of human freedom and fulfillment -just like, in general? Ya know?

    Am I going to fast for you – you know, with the concept that sexual behavior is within the scope of moral judgement? Like, um, pedophilia and adultery?

    I know you’re all, like, modern and progressive and all, but – you remember adultery, don’t you?

    You want some time to chew that over – you know, that there are moral aspects to sexual behavior?

    …. Laya, kindly point out where I indicated that gay people are evil sub-humans that poison wells. Do you REALLY think that is the basis for my discussion of morality? Can you see what a straw man argument you flung up?

    Promiscuity vs. Committment is also a moral issue. It also is a valid issue from the purely secular perspective, since it impacts the stability and shape of the community. Which leads us to:

    Yes, some gays live a promiscuous lifestyle. I’ve got news for you, so do some straight people.
    And by the way, do you happen to have any sources for your statistics.
    – – – – – – – – – – – —
    I posted them previously, but to summarize:

    70-80 percent of heteros – including the most decadent sex-n-the-city types – will eventually wind up spending most of their adult years in committed relationships that last at least 5 years. The most voracious hetero “player” will have at most 10-12 sexual partners over their adult lives.

    In contrast, 80-90 percent of homosexuals will spend most of THEIR adult lives in a pattern of compulsive promiscuity. Specifically this means:

    – Upwards of 70 sexual partners, on average, in the 30 years between 20 and 50.

    – An inability to maintain relationships beyond the 18-24 month mark.

    – as age creeps up, a “fallback” to “committed” relationships that still largely accommodate the partner’s need for other sexual outlets.

    The most well-known sources for these statistics are large-scale studies conducted by the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and the Health Departments of cities with large gay populations.

    The data on the high rates of depression and substance abuse come from many studies sponsored by various health agencies – most recently and notably, a survey by the Dutch ministry of Health found the number of gays afflicted with depression and substance abuse barely dipped with the legalization of gay unions, and only a small fraction of gay couples have actually taken advantage of the law.

    This pattern repeats in Scandinavia and other places.

    Let’s end with a bit of irony, shall we?

    I also refuse to define people based solely on their sexuality and assume that that encompasses all of who they are, what they believe and how they live their lives.
    – – – – – – – – – – –
    … yet that is just what the gay rights movement does by elevating sexuality to an all-encompassing marker of identity.

    And again – you are attacking an attitude that I never expressed.

    Could you please address what I DID write about – specifically, how your laissez-faire, suddenly mystified approach to “morality” jibes with the Jewish tradition you so eloquently defend against cherry-picking conservative Jews like TM?

    Here’s how it’s gone:

    I’m a Victim!
    – and when that doesn’t convince:
    You’re a Brute for disagreeing with me!
    – and if that doesn’t shut them up:
    You’re rude and UNPOPULAR for disagreeing with what “everybody knows”
    – and if THAT doesn’t cow them:
    Blah blah blah MORALITY – some of my BEST FRIENDS are gay, and I once saw an Orthodox Jew tilt a pinball machine – so there!

    … but it still doesn’t work.
    Paradoxically, the most damning evidence of gay pathology comes from the way gays have used the tolerance already extended to them…

    Gays ‘liberated’ themselves at the same time that cohabitation outside marriage went mainstream. Yet they (compulsively!) pursued another structure for their community. Where are the committed gay couples just dying for a marriage license? The gay community’s own statistics show that they don’t exist in any significant numbers.

    Yes, that choice and those behaviors ARE subject to moral review. At least for those of us who are Jewish.

    Laya – I think you need to give your Jewish fusion cocktail a few more shakes. You’re trying to combine things that don’t mix.

  • *sigh*

    It’s so beautiful when teammates from the Orthodox vs. Conservative wars turn on each other.

    Hey Ben David, I’m not Conservative. Sorry. But I like how you’ll take prohibition against homosexuality in the Torah literally, but not the Ruth story. Hmmm, talk about cherry pickin’.

  • What kind of penguin?
    You know, there are homosexual penguins in the Berlin zoo – isn’t that right Laya?

  • If you actually read my post above I said “and sexual morality is a
    big part of Judaism.” So, please, drop the condescending tone.

    But DO NOT again make the mistake of grouping pedophilia in with adult
    sexual activity. We already went over that, read up if you do not
    remember.

    “Where are the committed gay couples just dying for a marriage
    license? The gay community’s own statistics show that they don’t exist
    in any significant numbers.”
    you are wrong there, the legal battles for it are in the news all the time.

    You still haven’t provided any confirmable/linkable source for your own stats there, where do they come from, The Ben David Weekly?

    I’m a Victim!
    – and when that doesn’t convince:
    You’re a Brute for disagreeing with me!
    – and if that doesn’t shut them up:
    You’re rude and UNPOPULAR for disagreeing with what “everybody knows”
    – and if THAT doesn’t cow them:
    Blah blah blah MORALITY – some of my BEST FRIENDS are gay, and I once
    saw an Orthodox Jew tilt a pinball machine – so there!

    I honestly dont know what the fuck you are talking about.

    You wanna know how i can be an orthodox jew and not hate gay people?
    It’s easy – While the act of male homosexual sex is forbidden in the bible, the persuasion is not (one orthodox rabbi I consulted told me that the verse is anal sex specific, ie, blow jobs don’t count, but that might be a minority opinion). When they call someone up the torah, they don’t ask them first if they are gay. Or a thief, or if they keep shabbat. Being gay does not disqualify a person from doing other mitzvot or trying to get close to God, although if they want to live a religious life, their path will not be an easy one.

    Here’s two questions for you, I’m curious…
    How about Lesbians? nothing in the torah about that. What f there was a Lesbian pride parade. Would it be a problem for you?
    There are some who could probably swing both ways, but chose homosexuality as a sexual preference. Others tho, simply have not and cannot be attracted to a member of the opposite sex, no matter what they were to try. What would you suggest to them?

    And yes, isn’t it funny that two people can argue on one side in one area and opposites in another, because obviously all religious folks think the same in every way. That’s why we’re so closed minded. But if my name was The Center or something like that, i’d be applauding myself right now.

  • Laya:
    If you actually read my post above I said “and sexual morality is a big part of Judaism.” So, please, drop the condescending tone.
    – – – – – – – – – –
    … just as soon as you tell me how it works in reality:

    – how does adherence to Judaism’s moral teaching on sexuality jibe with the notion that society’s moral concerns stop at the bedroom door?

    – how does Judaism’s overwhelming endorsement of committment and fidelity in sexual relations jibe with the normalization of a community that is distinguished by it’s members’ pursuit of promiscuity – even when other options are available to them?

    Laya:
    “Where are the committed gay couples just dying for a marriage
    license? The gay community’s own statistics show that they don’t exist in any significant numbers.” you are wrong there, the legal battles for it are in the news all the time.
    – – – – – – –
    But outside of a few carefully-groomed lesbian couples, the numbers aren’t there.

    The media made a great show out of the gay couples who showed up when the mayor of San Francisco started issuing marriage licenses. But if you do the math, those couples represented less than 5 percent of the gay community of the Bay area – and almost half the couples were from out of state.

    This is what I mean when I say your opinions have been created by the smoke-and-mirrors of victimology.

    Laya:
    You still haven’t provided any source for your own stats there, where do they come from, The Ben David Weekly?
    – – – – – – – – – –
    I linked to scholarly articles the last time this topic came up, not more than a month or two ago.

    Those threads will also be most instructive to you, because gay posters went head-to-head with me on the facts, and lost – no gay gene, no correlation betwen penguins and human sexuality, no evidence from identical twins, no evidence from studies of brain structure and function.

    If you’re interested in the scientific and statistical papers, one place to start is
    http://www.narth.com/

    Laya:
    You wanna know how i can be an orthodox jew and not hate gay people?
    – – – – – – – – – –
    No, because I don’t hate gay people, and don’t need lessons in compassion from you. I have actually worked with gay people at several companies, and we got along fine.

    It is possible to disagree with the normalization of homosexuality without hating gays as people. Just as I don’t hate alchoholics or bulimics as people.

    My 3 year old says “If you loved me, you’d let me eat all the cookies I want.” Do I really hate him for not giving him cookies? Am I being intolerant?

    You’ve hammered on this solipsism throughout the thread. I see this as further evidence that your opinion is quoted from the electronic ether, that your are striking the “correct” ideological pose so that you will seem cooler and less dorkily orthodox.

    I don’t think you have thought this issue through.

    Regarding your questions:
    1. I don’t think sexual orientation is sufficient basis for individual or “communal” identity. So I don’t see the point of any such parade. Again, this march is a political act – and compared with other tools of political discourse, it emphasizes the politics of victimhood over reasoned discussion. As such, its legitimacy is limited.

    2. There are many people in this generation who have bought the myth that they were “born that way”. People who feel that way and wish to live in an Orthodox Jewish community should be encouraged to re-examine the issue. People who cannot change their attractions must be helped to control them – just like all the other adults in the community are expected to control their own urges for extramarital sex. They are welcome to live in the community as long as they uphold its values.

    The community is not “intolerant” for refusing to change its standards – which it believes are G-d given – to accomodate the newly minted gay “identity”.

  • Laya, to be frank, you are in the deep minority on this issue and Ben David represents (although perhaps he is far more assertive) the large majority of the Orthodox community. This mythical openness you espouse is far from being shared with many others. Kinda like any acceptance of other streams.

    Now there’s a talmudic question fer ya: what is more desirable, a gay Jew who is Orthodox or a Conservative Jew who is a heterosexual? Also, does it makes a difference if they both spill seed (and Laya, blow jobs are spilling seed – tant pis!)?

    By the way, Ben David, irrespective of the religious aspect of your views, your comments about promiscuity and emotional issues that most gays confront are interesting. I wonder whether the freedom society grants them of not having marital or long-term monogamous relationships allows them to act on sexual instincts in a way society forbids (or brainwashes out) of heterosexuals. If marriage and monogamy had not become prevailing exectations, would heteros act differently over the course of a lifetime than gays?

    Anyway, next time there’s a parade, I strongly urge people to do one of three things: go see it and ENJOY; ignore it altogether; go see it and protest PEACEFULLY and respectfully.

  • Interesting piece on today’s New York Times op-ed page about the death of marriage. I do not agree with her conclusions but it is a very interesting piece and I may read her book.

    There is no middle ground, unfortunately. One side is going to win. It may not be a sweet day when they do, either. They are doing very well.

  • Very entertaining exchange– kudos to the combatants.

    This is one field– just between us, now– where y’all could use a pope.

    Middleman, I protest your blanket condemnation of blow jobs.

    Is the ‘spilling seed’ prohibition why married guys never get any?

  • Hey Tom, I am simply expressing the biblical prohibition against spilling of seed, and unless a woman is able to become pregnant by, um, sipping/guzzling/insert your own verb, I’m afraid it’s spilled seed.

  • Middle, I’m relieved. Seems to me that it’s not wholly, uh, inconceivable that a woman could become pregnant that way.

    Stranger things have happened… Haven’t they?

  • Tom, I appoint you Chief Rabbi of Jewlicious and am glad to pronounce that in your wisdom, you have allowed us to participate in blow jobs.

    I wonder if this is how the composers of the mishnah felt when they figured out a complex issue.

  • I can’t believe you’re bringing NARTH into this. Ask ANY reputable psychologist and they will agree that NARTH is far from properly conducted scientific study.

    I share this as someone who got a degree in Psychology from a relatively conservative university. Then again why listen to me… I’m just a gay man… a gay, Jewish, Israeli-Canadian man: and proud of all those things.

    You know what’s saddest about this discussion: at a time when we’re already being ripped apart as a community over the disengagement we need to start focusing on unity and solidarity.
    “VeAhavta Le’Reacha Kmocha”

    In that light: Ben David – while I disagree with you on this and I may dislike somethings you say – I accept you and embrace you as a part of our Jewish community. I pray that some day you’ll have the courage to do the same for me and my fellows.

    Yours,
    Tom C

  • Ben David makes an easier target than I do.

    We must all long for better days and better ways.

    Nobody is cross at a fellow Jew here, not in a mean way.

    Just because you don’t have to be ashamed of an affliction, does not mean you should elect to be proud of it, however. You have to just cope somehow. This shouldn’t happen to anybody.

    Proud of what?

    A mountain of corpses three time higher than the one at Hiroshima?

  • TomC, embrace him well…and who knows, maybe Ben David will change his outlook.

  • I’m Proud of myself and of who I am and what I have to contribute. I’m proud that I have the inner strength to stand up to the hatred and taunting and have the strength to be who I am.

    I am proud of that both as a Jew having lived openly as a Jew in a large uinversity with almost no Jewish population as well as having lived as a gay man in society today which hates me so much.

    Pride isn’t about the excesses that you see… those are not about contempt for society but rather stem from a pride in having come to terms with who we are and what we stand for.

    On the topic of AIDS I’d like you to consider what you’re saying. First off, AIDS is not a gay disease and never was. Yes, it is transfered most readily by anal sex – but that is a behaviour and not an orientation. By calling it a gay disease you trivialize the deaths of millions in Africa.

    On the topic of celebrating “a mountain of corpses”: almost every Pride week includes memorials to the victims of AIDS. Your analogy is just like asking what Jews are proud of at the Walkathons/Parades we throw – the mountain of corpses from the Shoah. (No I’m not actually comparing them, but it illustrates the flaw in Jewish Mother’s logic).

    And yes Jewish Mother, I love you too.

  • Unconsciously people assume it will all end happily the way the Black revolution did.

    Are you sure the analogy is a good one?

    Sure, the holes in marriage invited this to come into the vacuum.

    Nobody has explained why it was not enough to march in Tel Aviv.

    Of course, that is aggression. Come on now.

    This will always affect some people, and some people will be unaffected, and there is a big middle who will be influenced by prevailing winds no matter what they are. Big.

    Will that be lovely for women?

    No. It won’t.

  • No behavior of the Jews caused the Shoah, so your analogy breaks down immediately. The murderous AIDS resulted from a behavior. At first their was no knowledge of what was going on. Can you say that now? No.

    AIDS is not a gay disease. It is an infidelity disease. Yet, it has killed many millions of gay men, in the US. Well? Does that sound like an around-the-block line at the Monogamy Office of Marriage? No, it does not.

    It was enough to march in Tel Aviv. Marching in Jerusalem is indeed an act of aggression. There is no live-and-let-live in that.

    A sacrifice is being asked of you, a soldierly sacrifice, a very expensive sacrifice. Unfortunately it needs to be made. But, being a soldier was the first thing that was claimed! Long, long before marriage. Yes, that is tragic. Maybe something can be done to help.

    It is so important not to kid one’s self.

  • You use the phrase “stand for”. Yes, you do stand for something. Why can’t people oppose it?

    There is the person and there is the politics.

    The person may be nice.

    The politics can be disagreed with. For the sake of the good of the community, as perceived.

    No disrespect is intended. But there is still no wonderful way out of this disagreement. ALAS!

    Maybe something can be done to help. But don’t be amazed when people defend their way of life.

  • aggressive parading??

    i’m (not terribly) sorry, but they won the right to march and so they did. whether they do it in Tel Aviv or in Jerusalem, there is still the fact that they were given the right to have a parade.

    Yes…there is an agenda and there is much more visibility by doing it in the holy city than elsewhere, but there is no “act of aggression”. Those marching are not making any statement about the right of Israel to exist; and while you may believe that their actions are leading to “the disintegration of society” or the demise of the jewish people, they believe that they are making a statement about their right to live their lives as they see fit within the laws of the state of Israel.

  • Nothing Gay people did was the cause of the AIDS virus. Your argument is as flawed as the argument that a rape victim invites the rape because she’s dressed provocatively.

    Regardless of that, the point of the parade in Jerusalem is that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel (and they do have a parade in Tel Aviv too).

    If Jerusalem is the unified eternal capital of the State of Israel then welcome to democracy. What kind of a democratic state would it be if groups were denied the right to protest/celebrate there?

    At some point the Theocrats who want to see Israel be a state run based solely on Halacha need to accept that this means giving up democracy.

  • All the major articles on the Narth website quote, critique, and relate to articles published in the accepted, mainstream journals of mental health, academic journals of “gay studies”, etc.

    TomC has rounded out our sample of evasive debating techniques used by gay activists with his facile dismissal of those whose clearly describe the scientific basis for their opposition to the normalization of homosexuality.

    He goes on to repeat the canard that anyone who disagrees with the pro-gay line is a fundamentalist who wishes to upend democracy.

    Sorry Tommaleh – just now in Israel, most Israelis are starting to see quite clearly (as American voters already have) that it is liberals lodged in the media, judiciary, and academia who are cutting across the rules of democracy to impose their vision on The Rest of Us.

    Laya – have you got an answer for me?

    How does this Jewlicously hip stance of tolerance jibe with the Torah’s moral teachings – about sexuality’s moral dimension, and specifically about homosexuality?

  • Ben-David, tolerance for gays jibes with the Torah’s moral teaching just like tolerance for destroyer of Judaism like TM: we tolerate and accept because it’s between God and the ‘sinner’ right?

  • I don’t want to argue the perceived morality or immorality of homosexuality, because it’s been done to death. The statistics I’ve been reading differ from other stats I’ve read, it’s five in the morning here, I don’t have the strength to do that argument today.

    I want to point something out that even I, little shiksa from the American South, know about Judaism — the idea that any commandment can be broken if the purpose is saving a human life. Human life is precious because only G-d can make it, and so it is always holy to save a life, even if you have to do work on Shabbat to do it, or some other violation of the law. (I can’t think of a case in which eating a cheeseburger would lead directly to the salvation of a human life, but I wish I did; it’d be funnier.)

    Instead, a crazy man went into a crowd of “sinners”, as he saw it, to take life in the name of Judaism, a faith that honors and values life. Because the “sinners”, were, apparently, “in his face” as we say, because of their choice to gather and announce that they were, by his lights, committing a sin. Or “destroying the Jewish community” as someone has already put it in the comments thread. I’ve been to a lot of pride marches and gay bars, and never once have I seen “Destroy the Jewish people” listed on anyone’s to-do list. I promise. It’s not even on my gay Jewish boss’ to-do list; I should know, I have to make it out for him. If it shows up, in the interest of saving life, I promise I will let y’all know. (And the FBI.)

    It disgusts me, as it always does, to see life taken in the name of G-d when G-d is the only one who can make life. It’s totally backward and antilogical.Where I live, the Jewish community leaders are some of the lone voices of peace and tolerance amid a bunch of intolerant and theocracy-minded Baptists. When there is injustice here the rabbis come out against it, and so a story like this somehow hurts me more than when the people I expect to do it (Westboro and the Phelps family are the big-press instigators in the US, and they’re so crazy they’ve been disfellowshipped by every Christian church in their state) are the ones behind the violence. I honestly don’t know enough about the political situation in Israel w/r/t this issue to say whether the march should have been held where it was, I don’t know the significance. But it’s…a march in public space. If you don’t like it — go inside, the way I do when the Southern Baptist Convention is in town and decides to take to the streets to try and save a million souls in a weekend. Sure, I miss out on downtown for a day or two. It’ll still be there, G-d willing, and my blood pressure will stay at acceptable levels for those two days. Or you can hand out pamphlets as someone suggested. Heck, go to shul and daaven until the Pride March is over; you’ll get more out of it than standing and fuming, and it’s your own yetzer hara, not anyone elses’, for which you have to answer, so that’s the perfect time to work on it, I would think. Don’t wade up in a crowd with a knife and decide you’re the hand of G-d in rooting out evil as you see it.

    Not to Godwin it up, or to tell anyone that they must accept people as they are if how they are is contrary to a particular faith just because of a shared history of institutionalized violence against the two, but have people forgotten so quickly that Hitler and his regime were trying to root out the gays and lesbians (and suspicion, not proof, was all that was required…much like the Christians with a grandparent who may or may not have been Jewish who found their rights and then their existence falling out from under them) right along with the Jewish people as a whole? In neither case was the destruction successful, G-d be thanked…but before any veneer of righteousness can be put on an action like stabbing gay people for being gay — because that’s the real issue here — as it was by a commenter or two, facts like those should be remembered. I know GLBT-organized Holocaust remembrance events usually include remembrance for all victims, not just the gays and lesbians. People who have died together at the hands of evil men in the not-too-distant past perhaps ought to be able to find the middle ground, to say “Hey, we totally don’t think you’re right with G-d, and we want you to know that, but that’s between you and G-d in the meantime, so…”. Tolerance is not the same as acceptance, or even respect. I tolerate a lot of things I neither accept nor respect, because I live in a democracy and it’s my price for others tolerating some of the stuff I get up to.

    G-d made us all; we don’t have the right to take life from each other, and it’s horrible when it happens no matter what the temporal rationalizing. Period. Now it’s way past my bedtime and I must stop getting myself upset or I will never sleep.

  • Halachically, the average non-Ortho Jew would be classed as a tinok-she’nishba – a child taken in captivity – who is not strictly held responsible for their actions. It’s pretty clear that most gay Jews would fall into that category, as well – in addition to the compassion due to them as sufferers of compulsive behavior.

    That doesn’t mean that we change the Torah’s clear moral directives to suit these people’s mistaken notions. Nor does it mean we need not try to teach them their heritage and persuade them of its truth. Nor does it validate in any way their mistake, or mitigate their responsibility for transgressing any mitzvot that they DO know about.

    It just means they are not classed or prosecuted as willful/wicked transgressors. And of course that should translate into how they are dealt with on a human level.

    I am uncomfortable with constructions like “it’s between G-d and the sinner” because that reflects the Western perspective, which is focused on the individual and their rights – including a right to privacy that is irrelevant to Man/G-d relationships, and largely irrelevant to Judaism. The Torah makes no distinction between “secular” tort law, and “ritual” or “sacred” laws – those distinctions were introduced by humans. In fact the intermingling of lay and sacred constructs is a distinctive feature of the Torah’s text style – the most well-known example is the huge flood of mitzvot that come right after the 10 commandments, combining tort law, holidays, moral and sacrificial rules.

    There are no “privacy of one’s home” or “consenting adults” provisos to the Torah’s commands. And the Torah’s view of Israel as an organic whole united in a covenant is very different from the Western (or more precisely, American) view that guarantees maximum freedom to the individual.

    Ask your local Chabadnik whether other Jews’ souls are their business or not…. at least this they got right.

  • Ben David – I may love ya, but don’t patronize me please.

    If you want specifics (I haven’t done this much sourcing since university) then I’d encourage you to look at the APA’s website on Homosexuality: http://www.apa.org/pubinfo/answers.html

    NARTH is in fact far from the mainstream psychological community. It’s research is considered flawed because of the use of biased samples (instead of random selection), inconsistant operationalization of varriables (the way they measure things don’t jive with what their trying to measure), and it’s not uncommon to hear of leaders of the “ex-gay” movement being caught “reverting back to homosexuality”.

    Ben David, if you’re going to argue they psychology of Homosexuality you’re going to loose. A major in Psychology and minor in Sexuality, Marriage, and the Family put me in a different league. Does that mean that I’m for sure right? Maybe not, but it means that I may have the resources to take on that area more fully than you (PsychINFO access, etc.)

  • for the record boys, shmuely boteach gives the ok for oral sex within the context of marriage. I believe his reasoning was that “spilling seed” means doing it in vain, if by doing it you’re bringing a husband and a wife closer together and keeping them more satisfied, then he gives it a heter (an exception to the general rule).

  • Of course gay people are not responsible for the existence of the AIDS virus. Their culture is responsible for its SPREAD over such a huge population.

  • But, when the Baptists go home, they go home. They don’t leave permanent change in the nature of a place behind them. They come to convince, not to conquer. Having tried, they leave.

  • Ben David we once had a whole discussion on this where I explained without goiunbg into psycoloical studies how just by pure logic you can easily see that being a Homo cannot be inborn.

    Where is a link to that?

    Indeed you are of course right.

    Laya and mufti are completely wrong. The Torah grants no respect or pity for those who willfully violate the Torah.

    Laya the word ‘morality’ is a word made by people to mean whatever they personally like. Its OK by you to act as aHomo so its ‘moral’ but pediophelia you don’t ‘feel’ is right so to you its ‘immoral’

    I haven’t seen the world ‘moral’ or its equivalent in the Torah. Since you study at a Jewish higher level institute in Israel maybe you can show me where it is mentioned.

    I have said before I support ANYTHING to stop these abominations.

  • Judaism likes privacy in the sense it likes MODESTY. “how goodly are your tents, o Jacob” because their doorways faced away; so no one could peep into the next tent. Privacy! But the MODEST kind. The parade violates MODESTY. And not just the costumes. Having a parade about sex at all violates modesty, even if they all wore suits and ties.

  • Look, everybody doesn’t want to live the same. But the religious Jews don’t get too many areas to have it their way. The gays should respect their privacy and stay out of their way. IN THE SAME WAY they would not want a bunch of wigged or blue-haired ladies to invade their space, their neighborhoods, their clubs. They have a right to privacy too. But people should respect each other, and not get confrontational. A gay march in Jerusalem is confrontational by definition. Why do you need the whole world? Isn’t that imperialism?

  • Middle, I’ve slept on it, and must decline your proposed appointment of me as Chief Rabbi of Jewlicious (lacking all manner of qualifications for such an august post).

    However, I’ll gladly take on the title of Jewlicious’s Minister-Plenipotentiary For Interfaith Relations….

    It’s interesting as a Christian to read through these comments, because the Torah directly addresses issues like homosexuality and specific sexual practices, while the New Testament is silent on them (Paul’s condemnation of homosexuality is the exception). Certainly, Jesus didn’t care to speak to them.

    We’ll have to defer to the superior expertise of our elder brothers in faith on sexual matters.

    The Jews can do the theology. But leave enforcement to the Catholics. Nobody’s better at the latter than we are (oy!)….

  • ok, to address a few things,
    tm, yes, I know I am in the minority within the scope of orthodoxy. Not nearly as much in the minority within the circle of predominately orthodox persuasion here. I just point that out to say that its possible attitudes are starting to change.

    what is more desirable, a gay Jew who is Orthodox or a Conservative Jew who is a heterosexual?

    well, to me a desirable man would be someone who is both attracted to me and shares my value system. Is that too much to ask?

    How does this Jewlicously hip stance of tolerance jibe with the Torah’s moral teachings – about sexuality’s moral dimension, and specifically about homosexuality?

    I feel I’ve more or less answered this already. I’ll do it once more, but lets let that be it, ok?

    The act of male homosexual sex is forbidden in the Torah. The homosexual persuasion is not. It s not forbidden for two guys to make out, and there is room for debate about oral sex. As an interesting aside, when talking about sexual morality in regards to torah, when it is two men, there is no taharat hamishpacha to be dealt with (and one could easily argue that a heterosexual couple not keeping the laws of Niddah are equally violating a torah law of sexual morality) , and when it is two women, there doesn’t seem to be any problem at all.

    Joe Schmo, you are right that the torah itself is pretty harsh when it comes to its violator. Luckily we are not kararites and our court system and our halacha always made it mandatory that complete undeniable proof of knowledge and intent was found before any punishment was doled out, otherwise, we’d probably all be dead by now. Compassion is built into our system.

    and again with the pedophilia comparison – don’t do that. I will repeat what I said before – it involves a child being placed into a position of severe victimhood by an authority figure (ie adult) who violates their bodily integrity and causes irreparable psychological harm. That’s just a little different than two little gay boys being hot for each other.

  • Damaged, ragged family life is very, very different from totally dead family life.

  • jm, surely you are not being so inappropriate as to imply that homosexuals start out as pedophiles. Surely you have more sense than that, right?